Few other birds don such a dramatic and colorful costume as the male Mandarin Duck. This beautiful bird is found in Eastern Asia, China, Russia, Europe and certain parts of North America and is a close relative of the Wood Duck. It can survive in various habitats but usually inhabits areas near lakes, ponds and rivers as well as broadleaf and coniferous forests.
The male has a rich, colorful appearance, which includes brown cheeks and a long brown and white crown sweeping back from the top of the head. The chest is dark purple, with black and white strips, and the wings are brown with an iridescent blue-green edge. This striking coloration helps the male attract the less-colorful females, which display brownish-black plumage with white markings around the eyes and along the throat.
Interesting facts about Mandarin Ducks:
Their plumage is combination of white, black, grey, creamy, orange and green colors. Beak is red with white tip.
Main predators of Mandarin duck are raccoons, minks, otters, eagles and snakes.
In their native China mandarins are regarded as symbols of fidelity and pairs were given to brides on their wedding day.
Mandarins, like most ducks, only pair for the season, and new pairs will form again in the autumn.
Despite the closeness of the relationship with the wood duck, no hybrids have ever been recorded. This is because the mandarin has a chromosome aberrance that makes it impossible for it to produce hybrids with other ducks.
Female mandarins don’t quack, but they do make a series of clucking calls that are invariably uttered when they see danger.
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